“This is the Only Zoo in Mumbai since 1861, also called ‘Jijamata Udyan’, ‘Byculla Zoo’, ‘Rani Baug’, ‘Victoria Garden’ in British era and Officially named ‘Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan’ now. It has varied flora & fauna with about 853 Species of plants, 3000 plus trees, Wild Animals, Birds and the only ‘heritage’ botanical garden of city, spread over 53 acres of land. Below are updated on Mumbai Zoo for List of Animals inside, Timings, Entry fees (Ticket price) for children & adults, Car parking, Address, new penguin section and more..”
- Official Name : Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan.
- Byculla Zoo Timing : Opens at 9:00 Am and Closes at 5:00 in Evening (Wednesday Close).
- What ar Penguin Section Timings : Watch timings for Penguin are same as Zoo timings.
- Entry Ticket Price (Revised Entry Fees, 2018) : Rs.25(Children) & Rs.50 (Adults). Previously when Penguin section started it was Rs.50 (Kids) & Rs.100 (Adults). Previous to that, Since so many years it was just Rs.5. Special discounts given for school picnic groups.
- Penguin Area Ticket Price : No Separate Price, Zoo Entry rates all inclusive.
- List Of Animals Inside : Monkeys, Deers, Penguins, Elephants, Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), Crocodile, Hippopotamus, A Lazy Python, Giraffe, Hyenas and Black Bear. It was said that wolves, leopards, Jackals, Madras Turtles will also be part of this zoo upon revamp, But not sure if these / some African animals are already in.
- Plants, Trees inside Botanical Garden : With more then 3000 trees, 853 Species of plants inside the botanical garden of Mumbai zoo which was shifted from Sewri in 1861 after Sewri Botanical garden was converted into a cemetery. Some rare species of plants & trees are also seen inside. List of few not to miss are ‘Brownea Coccinea’ with blooms of flowers hanging down, ‘Cannon Ball’ tree known for it fragrance spreading flowers also called ‘Kailashpati’, ‘APTA tree’, Heard of give and take of tree leaves called ‘Sona’ in maharashtrian community dussehra festive? That is it, a very ancient tree also mentioned in Epic Mahabharata, ‘Cajeput Oil tree’ known for its remedies like headache and common cold, ‘Palas tree’ which shows up think big red flowers, ‘Tree of Heaven’ native to Myanmar is rare to be seen in Mumbai which also has small red flowers, Famous ‘Krishna’s buttercup tree’ as named after Hindu notorious god know to steal butter, These leaves are said to be used by him to steal butter.
- Address : A/91, Lalbaug Flyover, Near Byculla Railway Station, Byculla East, Mazgaon, Mumbai 400027.
- Reaching Zoo : Nearest railway station is Byculla (Central Railway). Yet, taxi from Mumbai Central railway station is not far if planning from Western Railway Route which takes hardly 10 to 15 minutes.
- Official Contact : Local Call : 022-23772414, International : +91-22-23772414.
- Official Website : Not Available.
- Car Parking inside Zoo Area : Yes Available, But Limited. So early the better.
- Outside Food Allowed : No, Only Water bottles are allowed inside.
- Photography (Camera’s Allowed) : Yes, Mobile cameras are free. DSLR’s etc charged Rs.100 extra. You are allowed to take it inside Museum area too.
- Rest Room / Toilet / Wash rooms : Available, Clean and Neat.
In 1981, When Mumbai was called Bombay Mr. David Sasoon, a Jewish businessman who made this Zoo handed it over to Municipal Corporation and till late few years this only Zoo of Mumbai was not maintained up to the mark and was in a very Unhygienic and Filthy condition and lots of animals died due to the reason. Lions and Tigers are no where seen now, That unpleasant view keep lots of visitors away and also didn’t attract for repeat visiting. In 2015, the operating license expired and CZA (Central Zoo Authority) sent a notice before hand for the irregularities and filthy maintenance of the only wild life animal premise here. Not to forget, many visitors misbehaved too with animals like Python and other few approachable during that time. Overall, the conditions were not suitable enough for Animal survival.
In around 1963, an open air theatre was started called ‘Anna Bhau Sathe Theatre’, an era when Stage shows and dance performance were the only means of entertainment as no televisions. Maharashtra’s folk dances like Bharud, Koli dance, Lavani and Tamasha, tablas and classical folk music was well liked and a unique art, entertainment and leisure option in that theatre with seating capacity of 400 to 500 people. Soon it was known that the performances were of mere disturbance to the Jungle community, The Wild Animals and Birds inside who prefers silence. So in 1984, theatre was closed down.
In last few years, After media exposure and warning from CZA the conditions has been improved, Zoo is much more beautiful upon the ongoing revamp process since 2016. Revamp was suppose to bring in a 3D theatre, First taxidermy museum of city, A Theme park, Animal Rides, Car parking options and other gift shops and eateries & restaurants in and near the garden area. Hippo’s are seen enjoying a better quality of water now, Few small and medium sized Crocodiles are seen along the green pond scum peacefully surrounded by other few animals and birds.
As per news, In 2009 24 animals died following 55 deaths in 2010 and in 2014. Around same year the counting of 30 Spotted deer, 1 Lioness, 3 Hippos, 2 Elephants, 2 Hyenas and 1 Himalayan black bear, foxes, monitor lizards, black bucks were noted. As per previous updates 189 mammals of 20 different species were seen, Similarly 449 birds of 38 different species and 43 reptiles of 9 varied species were counted inside Byculla zoo which is good and hopefully the numbers grows.
Couple of Flamingos, peacock, peahen are some of the common seen birds inside zoo. The main attraction are India’s largest bat species which are right here inside Mumbai Zoo premise. If you are inside around late evening you will be mesmerized seeing thousands of big size bats right up above your head on those huge trees. Since the on going improvements our city zoo might see few things as detailed below in coming time.
Soon it will welcome lots of wild animals like Chimpanzee, Cheetah, Lowland Gorilla in Mumbai zoo and people are eager and waiting since the first news about same were out in 2016-2017. The Central Zoo Authorities (CZA) has also given permissions to Mumbai zoo for keeping new animals like Giraffes, Wild dogs, Lions ( Both Asian / African Lions), Rare Zebras, King of jungle (Tigers), Leopards, Pangolin, Mouse Deer, Orang utans, Jungle cats among which those sweet looking Penguins which are already inside this zoo now. More of such animals inside will be brought from countries like South Africa, Australia, and other parts of Asian countries.
In this phase of zoo revamp, the garden premise will be adding extra 7 acres of plot adjacent to Mumbai zoo which was owned by a private firm called ‘Mafatlal Company’. This will add a good amount of space inside Jijamata Udyan Garden area and few the wild animal will be shifted in this location as planned. After completing the first phase of revamp of administrative building inside zoo, working on animal shelters and boundaries for safety and convenience was next and much have been done, Still its an ongoing process for such a beautiful and sensitive area.
Updates (November 2018) : As of now, Phase 2 of revamp is already in progress and since Zoo has acquired the 7 Acres of adjoining plot which was with Mafatlal Industries, Phase 3 planning has already be done for that land and is waiting CZA approvals.
Once approved, Exotic animals are planned which will be kept in 3 different sections inside this land according to their countries speciality. At this planning stage 3 selected sections are named South American, African and Australian with respective wild animals inside like Hoolock, Giraffe, Jaguar, Zebra, Gibbon, Chetah and more..
Climate, Food, Medicines and many other factors decide on these beautiful animal residing here in Mumbai zoo for which correct living conditions and environment is required. Upon checking if CZA finds the residing conditions suitable for the list of Animals, Phase 3 will bring in more wildness to this zoo.
Some Old Pictures Of Byculla ZooMore Places to Explore in Mumbai
If you love nature and that botanical garden inside this zoo, Then i must recommend and direct you to some of the beautiful green world in Mumbai, to be more close to nature and enjoy its flora. Below are few of the green gardens and parks one must see in Mumbai :
- Tactile Garden for visually impared, Medicinal Garden and Butterfly Garden inside byculla zoo itself.
- Mahim Nature Park (Also called ‘Maharashtra Nature Park’) located near Dharavi Sion Area. Its about 10 Km (22 to 30 minutes) from this zoo.
- Sagar Upvan, A beautiful botanical garden at Colaba (South Mumbai) located at distance of 8 to 9 Km from Zoo which takes about 40 minutes to reach.
- Some of the butterfly gardens in Mumbai.
- Nirvana Park (Also called ‘Powai Garden’) located inside Hiranandani Township in Western Suburban near Andheri at about 28 Km from this zoo taking anywhere between 50 minutes to 1 hour time.
- In South of Mumbai, I will recommend Kamla Nehru Park which has recently been renovated and thrown open after some 1 year closer.
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Borivali at about 32 Km distance taking anywhere about 1 hour (Non Traffic).
- Bird park inside Essel world.
- More list of Gardens and Parks in Mumbai.
Picture Courtesy : Siddharth Dabade (Hippo), Nikhil Satalkar (Deer), Siddhi Kanyalkar (Museum).